James Hansen

James E. Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. He has held this position since 1981. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

After graduate school, Hansen continued his work with radiative transfer models and attempting to understand the Venusian atmosphere. This naturally led to the same computer codes being used to understand the Earth's atmosphere. He used these codes to study the effects that aerosols and trace gases have on the climate. Hansen has also contributed to the further understanding of the Earth's climate through the development and use of global climate models.

Hansen is best known for his research in the field of climatology, his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in 1988 that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to limit the impacts of climate change.

In this interview (James Hansen, former Head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and currently professor at Columbia University) talks about the role of nuclear in climate change mitigation.

I’m James Hansen. I’m from Columbia University’s Earth Institute where I had programmes on climate science awareness and solutions. First we have to educate the public because there’s a lot of misunderstanding about nuclear power.
There are problems with every energy source including nuclear power, but if you look at fossil fuels, 10,000 of people a day are dying from pollution from fossil fuels. Nuclear power has been much safer than that over its lifetime, but we can make it much better with new technologies, much better nuclear power. So it really has the potential of being a substantial part of the solution to climate change.